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U.S. Supreme Court

Gasoline Products Co., Inc. v. Champlin Refining Co., 283 U.S. 494 (1931)

Gasoline Products Co., Inc. v. Champlin Refining Co.

No. 362

Argued April 17, 1931

Decided May 18, 1931

283 U.S. 494


1. The Seventh Amendment preserves the substance of jury trial, and not the old form of procedure. P. 283 U. S. 498.

2. Where its requirement of a jury trial has been satisfied by a verdict according to law upon one issue of fact, the Seventh Amendment does not compel a new trial of that issue even though another and separable issue must be tried again. P. 283 U. S. 499.

3. Where the practice permits a partial new trial, it may not properly be resorted to unless it clearly appears that the issue to be retried is so distinct and separable from the others that a trial of it alone may be had without injustice. P. 283 U. S. 500.

4. Petitioner sued for royalties under a contract licensing the use of a patented process of manufacture. Respondent counterclaimed for damages alleged to have resulted from failure by petitioner to perform a related contract to construct part of a plant for lack of which, respondent said, it incurred expenses for storage and suffered losses from several causes, including loss of anticipated profits. There was a verdict for the petitioner on its cause of action and for the respondent on the counterclaim. Held that, in reversing the judgment as to the counterclaim and directing a new trial with respect to the amount of damages because of error in the instructions concerning the measure of damages under it, it was not necessary to disturb the judgment on the main cause of action, but there should be a retrial of all the issues raised by the counterclaim, because chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 283 U. S. 495

the date of formation and breach, as well as the scope, of the contract therein relied upon were left in such doubt by the record, including the verdict, that the question of damages could not be submitted to a jury independently of the question of liability without confusion and uncertainty.

33 F.2d 521 reversed.

Certiorari, 282 U.S. 824, to review a judgment reversing a judgment in an action on a contract and directing a new trial restricted to the amount of damages on a counterclaim.

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